Survey Reveals How Employers Can Improve Wellbeing Program Outcomes

A survey of employees by Welltok finds workers want more personalized wellbeing resources and more digital experiences, among other things.

A survey shows that employers can improve the wellbeing experience of employees by taking a more personalized approach, which will engage employees and reduce medical costs.

Welltok surveyed more than 1,000 full-time workers ages 21 and older across the U.S in December with independent research firm Ipsos and found 56% of employees say the health and wellbeing programs offered by their employers are irrelevant, wasting company time and money. Delivering more personalized programming would motivate 82% of employees to participate more.

More than 80% of respondents believe everyone at their company is offered the same resources, regardless of individual needs and goals. “To be truly effective, employers need to gain deeper insights about their employees as individuals by leveraging consumer data. Consumer data can provide valuable insights into a person’s social determinants of health (where a person lives or works, their education level, household composition, etc.), which largely contribute to their overall health status. Leveraging all types of data (healthcare and non-healthcare) and applying advanced analytics and machine learning better predicts who will be most receptive to what programs, and ultimately, how best to drive targeted actions. Over time, advanced analytics also provides insights about which programs are working (or not working), enabling companies to optimize their program offerings,” says Welltok’s “Wellbeing Wake Up Report: What Employees Want.”

The survey found employees are interested in many types of incentives—extra vacation time (74%), flexible work schedule (62%), and wellness benefits (55%) are the most popular non-traditional choices.

Nearly six in 10 (58%) full-time working Americans feel that their direct manager supports their efforts to improve or maintain their wellbeing (e.g., time off for a doctor’s appointment, encourage lunchtime yoga), yet company-wide initiatives seem to be falling short. In most cases, people can’t find their company’s wellbeing resources, with only 16% strongly agreeing that they know where to find all the health and wellbeing resources available to them.

As consumerism continues to make its way into health care, employees also want multiple ways to access resources, when and where they need them. Nearly 70% of respondents have to some degree increased their use of technology over the past couple of years to manage or support their health (internet resources, mobile applications, monitoring/tracking devices, etc.). Welltok says using technology, like mobile apps, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbots, or text messaging can make it easy for employers to meet these consumer demands at scale, without breaking the bank.

More than 60% of workers feel it is important for companies to offer health and wellbeing resources that support total wellbeing, which not only includes physical health but also financial, emotional and social health. When ranking health and wellbeing priorities, financial stability was No. 1.

To download the full report, visit